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, 36 (9), 2034-6

Antiplatelet Agents in Secondary Prevention of Stroke: A Perspective


Antiplatelet Agents in Secondary Prevention of Stroke: A Perspective

John W Norris. Stroke.


Background and purpose: Antiplatelet agents are widely used in the secondary prevention of stroke and other vascular events. The purpose of this review is to give a perspective of the factors involved in clinical practice for selecting antiplatelet drugs appropriate to the patient population.

Summary of review: Aspirin remains the most popular drug, because it is modestly effective (approximately 25% risk reduction); however, it has undesirable side effects that are sometimes serious. The nonaspirin compounds are marginally more effective but are much more expensive and subject to commercial pressures from industry. A completely new look at these compounds is necessary, rather than spending more precious resources on "drug wars" that are expensive in time and money.

Conclusions: A "polypill" has been previously proposed, and possibly a combination of drugs targeted at the major vascular risk factors that is given to patients within 24 hours of initial stroke symptoms and to clearly defined patient populations may prove a solution.

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